Ahead of the official reveal from EA, Lamar Jackson has let it slip that he will be on the cover of Madden NFL 21.
Jackson revealed the news in a teleconference call with the Baltimore sports media from the confines of his home. The Ravens QB follows just a year after his de facto AFC rival Patrick Mahomes was on the cover for Madden NFL 20. "It’s always been a dream of mine, since I was a little kid, since I first started playing Madden," Jackson told reporters. "I had every Madden, so for me to be on the front of it, that’s a dream come true.”
Jackson's 2019 season left him as only the second player ever to win the MVP award unanimously, though for the second straight season his Ravens were swiftly sent home from the playoffs, this time as the heavily favored 1 seed, no less.
While some in the sports cognoscenti have questioned his immeasurables, like a perceived inability to come up big in the biggest games, it's important to remember where Jackson came from. He was considered a project QB coming out of Louisville, but has quickly quieted most critics with electric play as a scrambler, but more surprisingly, as a passer too. In 2019, he set a record for the most rushing yards for a quarterback in a single season while also leading the NFL with 36 passing touchdowns.
The annual honors of sports game cover star are debated and predicted from the millions of fans worldwide, and for years, the Madden cover has received the most buzz due to an ill-conceived notion of a "Madden Curse," which speculates that players on the cover are doomed for injury. In recent years, as many players stopped getting injured after appearing on the cover, the figurative goal posts were moved to include players' struggles, not just injury. But even that has been debunked by recent stars such as Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes winning major awards and even Super Bowls in their Madden cover years. Ultimately, the entire concept seems to be nothing more than a somewhat dark EA marketing campaign which, while not invented at the publisher, is happily propagated as a means of viral marketing.
With the NFL Draft upcoming this week, it's likely we'll get an official reveal from EA very soon.